Jehan and Enjolras, 18 (while someone's crying)?
When Jehan felt hands settling upon his shoulders, he first thought they were Combeferre’s or Bahorel’s; but the silence lingered, Jehan’s tears even louder to his own ears because of it, and he didn’t have enough friends of a quiet nature not to understand who was behind him.
“It’s unfair,” he decided to say, his voice too small and quite low. “I feel like we are looking at a precipice, and as one of our feet is close to make us fall, someone on our side claim that we should try climbing down the cliff instead of merely falling. What kind of choice is that, when either way, we are only going towards disaster?”
Enjolras’s hands squeezed his shoulders, and then, slowly, he moved his arms around Jehan; Jehan let himself be held, settling against Enjolras’s chest, and closed his eyes without truly trying to stop tears from rolling on his cheeks. Enjolras was breathing steadily, and that in itself was comforting - if Jehan had first moved away from the rest of their group, it was because he couldn’t see his own anger and sadness reflected in his friends’s eyes; worst, he thought, would have been to hear doubt or bitterness. But there was none of that in Enjolras, as always: he might be sad, but certainty colored his every movement, including at this moment, and when he spoke, he sounded as convinced as he’d been yesterday or last year:
“The choice lays in how we climb up, not down. Had we’ve been at the top of the cliff already, none of us would have ever had to stare down below, or only with pity and relief.” Jehan took a shaky breath. Enjolras gently put his cheek against his forehead and murmured: “Gravity is only our master in the physical world; societies stumble, miss a step, face the ground: it is our duty in those moments to steady its hand, cling to the cliff - not because we’re content or satisfied of what we have, but merely because it can only be harder to move up while falling - though, even then, even then, not impossible. Never impossible. Because Ideas will forever fly even when men cannot.”
Jehan raised his own hands, and intertwined his fingers against Enjolras. There were many other things to be said, many other debates to have - but for now, for now - this was enough; hard certainty and cold optimism, and the warm arms of a friend around him, gentle and reassuring through and through.